Report: Samsung sets high Galaxy S9 sales goal, despite low pre-order figures

  • Reports from Korea suggest that Samsung aims to ship 43 million units of its S9 and S9 Plus devices.
  • This is around two million more than achieved by the S8 and S8 Plus.
  • At the same time, first-day sales of S9 and S9 Plus devices in Korea were reported to be only 70 percent of that of the S8.


Recent reports suggest that Samsung plans to ship 43 million units of its flagship Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus smartphones. This is around two million more than the 41 million S8 handsets it reportedly sold last year.

This report comes from Korean financial news website The Bell, which quotes parts industry shipment plans that suggest Samsung believes it can improve on last year’s sales.

The article’s sources say that Samsung has made quarterly plans for 12 million shipments in the first quarter, 13 million in the second, 10 million in the third, and eight million in the fourth. While not set in stone, these parts forecasts can be used to estimate how many finished products Samsung plans to ship.

Just two weeks ago, Gartner released a report that suggested there was a 5.6 percent drop in smartphone sales in Q4 2017, when compared to the previous year. However, despite this drop, Samsung was one of the few companies that actually managed to increase its year-on-year sales in that quarter. This kept Samsung as the phone maker with the largest overall share of the smartphone market.

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There is still reason for Samsung to remain cautious. First-day sales of the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus in Korea were reportedly only 70 percent of the sales achieved by the S8 in its first day of availability. According to Yonhap, Korean carriers sold about 180,000 Galaxy S9/S9 Plus units on the first day of pre-orders, versus 260,000 units for the Galaxy S8.

If the report is accurate, there are several reasons that could explain the first-day sales dip. The biggest is the fact that the Galaxy S9 is highly iterative, featuring the same design as its predecessor and only a small number of additions to its features set.

The Galaxy S9 is very much a “tock” in Samsung’s release cadence, so we shouldn’t be surprised that users stick with the Galaxy S8 for an extra year. In addition, the bar set by the Galaxy S8 is high: the device filled the void left by the recalled Galaxy Note 7, benefiting from pent-up demand. Finally, Samsung cannot fully escape the effects of the general market slowdown, which is surely putting a damper on its mobile business.

Considering the headwinds, the fact that Samsung is actually projecting higher sales than the Galaxy S8 shows its confidence in the Galaxy S9. To see our take on the device, check out our in-depth Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus review.

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